Istijmam came together in 2007 around a love of theater. As a research laboratory inspired by the North African tradition of the halqa, or martketplace story-telling circle, they explore acting as a form of contemporary storytelling based in the practices of the goual, or local storyteller. Istijmam specializes in the repertoire of the Algerian playwright Abdelkader Alloula (1939-1994). Alloula was among the first to bring the Algerian halqa tradition into relation with the works of avant-garde theater makers such as Bertolt Brecht and Konstantin Stanislavsky. The troupe has performed throughout North Africa as well as in France, Germany, and Italy.